(Santa Ana : Ucs News California Report) John McCain said Tuesday that he understood Americans’ anger about the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Speaking to a group of struggling homeowners the Arizona Senator kept his promise to deliver straight talk. He rejected the community approach proposed by his Democratic rivals, instead he suggested more aid to Wall Street and promised to deliver card board boxes to the hardest hit areas like Santa Ana, California.
In a speech at a small printing business in Santa Ana, the presumptive Republican nominee said he was “committed to the principle that huge Republican campaign donors will get government to bail outs even if they acted irresponsibly, especially big banks.”
McCain cited the $30-billion plan by New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to aid homeowners and communities threatened by foreclosures, saying that it sounded “very expensive” and that he would “like to know if Clinton would have to pull money away from the war in Iraq to pay for it.”
His remarks came as the mortgage crisis and related economic troubles increasingly are moving to the forefront of the presidential campaign. Clinton and the Democratic front-runner, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, have criticized mortgage-lending practices and called for government intervention to provide relief to homeowners.
By contrast, McCain — who has been trying to shore up his economic credentials — told homeowners “to suck it up”.
He also said government assistance should be limited to “over extended” hedge funds and Wall Street firms in danger of collapse. He added that aid should be temporary “and that in the case of rain the displaced residents of Santa Ana should put foil or plastic tarps on their boxes.”
“I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis,” he said at C&H Letterpress Inc. in Santa Ana, addressing a group of Latino small-business leaders. “I will not promise to do anything as that would be taking advantage of this crisis.”